Elk Valley communities come together to raise funds for local ultrasound service

68 riders pedalled between Elkford and Fernie over the weekend.

The inaugural Elk Valley Epic this past weekend was a roaring success, with $14,275 raised through the Fernie Mountain Biking Club (FMBC) to go towards an ultrasound service for the Elk Valley.

“I think it was a huge success,” said FMBC chair, Troy Nixon. “$14,275 is beyond expectations.”

“It brought not only awareness for the need for ultrasound services at the Elk Valley Hospital, but it brought together three communities that are all going to benefit from this,” he said.

“We had people from Elkford, we have people from Sparwood, we had people from Fernie all ride this together. It was awesome.”

Nixon reported there was 68 riders out on the 74-km route that wound from Elkford to Fernie via Sparwood, and another 21 people donated through FMBC without riding the course themselves.

Participants ranged from their teens all the way to their 60s, with riders out on the course between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.

While the event itself was put together in a hurry to galvanize community giving for the ‘Beneath the Surface’ campaign run by the East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH), Nixon said the route was world-class, and feedback reflected that.

“Overall, people thought the course was great,” he said.

Nixon, who is an avid rider said that he had already mapped out a future route for events to come that went all the way through the Elk Valley down to the South Country – a total of 150 km.

“I think there’s hope for the future to make this into an annual event for different fund raisers. It’s a great ride – it’s world class.”

The ‘Beneath the Surface’ campaign by EKFH has a goal of raising $300,000 for an ultrasound service at the Elk Valley Hospital to ensure residents of the valley do not need to travel to Cranbrook for essential medical treatment.

Major local employer Teck Resources has pledged to match up to $50,000 made in community and business donations committed before the end of September this year.

READ MORE: Sparwood expands local trail network



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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